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54                            LETTERS   FROM   THE

on a bourgeois of Troyes, by name Louis Bour-
don, whose figure and good looks had struck her
in one or other of her journeys. The surly, capri-
cious temper of Louis XIII. having kept him at
a distance all the time that was necessary for
colouring the deceit with the appearance of pro-
bability, she was obliged to keep the birth of the
intended heir secret and confide him to trusty
hands that were never to abandon him. At the
same time he was to remain in eternal ignorance
of his birth and parentage. A second attempt
was more successfully achieved, by which Louis
XIV* saw the light, whilst his unhappy elder
brother was imprisoned at different places, but
treated with great attention and expense. Pro-
bably his guardian disclosed the secret to him on
the death of Louis XIIL and thereby occasioned
his removal and close confinement. Linguet says
that a lady at Chartres, ninety years old, still
alive, and in her youth mistress to one of the
ministers, was surprised this should not be known,
as it was no secret when she lived in the world.1
Madame Campan tells me that her father-in-

i It has been stated in a previous note that, although
the real name of the "Iron Mask" still remains a mystery,
it is the general opinion that the sufferer was the unfortunate